Quick Verdict – Maximus vs Wolverine
Three months before Les Misérables release, I was given a crash course in the plot. My wife showed me the 25th Anniversary edition, live from the O2 Arena. My only problem was, I couldn’t figure out what was going on. So I turned into one of those people I hate. ‘Who’s that?’ ‘So is that her daughter?’ ‘How many years have gone by?’ ‘Which one is Russell Crowe going to be?’ ‘Samantha Barks is hot.’
Given a head start I was ready for the main event. We sat down in the Pullman seats at the cinema in Barnstaple, and it began. Now to this day, I have only been in one other cinema screening when there has been a round of applause at the end, and that was Freddy vs Jason. I have a feeling that it might not have been about the quality of film we had just watched though. There was no doubt in this case, Les Misérables was a triumph in film making.
Now the plot, in a nutshell, is about Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) and him being hunted by Javert (Russell Crowe) for years. Obviously it’s more complicated than that, but it would take ages to explain it all. Along the way we have the Oscar winning performance of Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen reprising their roles from Sweeney Todd, Samantha Barks and Eddie Redmayne putting in amazing vocals and Amanda Seyfried is in the cast also.
As many will know, the filming of this musical is unique. The songs were sung live on set and then the music was built around the performance. What’s nice to see, is that the cast haven’t just watched the stage show and mimicked what they’d seen. The songs are adapted in little ways and they all belong and translate well into the movie.
The film is great. I’m a fan of musicals and this doesn’t disappoint. Everyone has put in a sterling performance, I liked Russell Crowe’s singing and it’s easier to follow than the stage show. It’s a musical feast, and deserves all the praise it gets.
Watch this if you like –
- The West End Les Misérables
- The Broadway Les Misérables